May 31, 2013

This recipe is adapted from a recipe that Mardi from Sprout & Pea‘s mom gave to her. It can be made vegan if you replace the butter with olive oil!

Ingredients

– 1 cup Cous Cous (I used Moroccan cous cous)1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
– 2 Tbsp Butter (or 1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil if vegan)
– 1/3 cup Pistachios, shelled & toasted
– 1/2 cup Scallions, chopped
– 1/2 cup Dried Currants (soaked in hot water for 15 minutes)
– 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
– 3 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
– 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Oil
– 2 tsp Cinnamon Salt & Pepper

Directions

Bring vegetable broth and butter (or olive oil) to a boil in a sauce pan. Add in couscous, stir and remove from heat. Let sit covered for 12-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add scallions, currants and pistachios and toss together. Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil and cinnamon together. Toss cous cous with dressing to coat. Season again if needed.


Ingredients

– 3 Cucumbers 1/2 cup Parsley, chopped
– 1/3 cup Mint, chopped3 Scallions, chopped
– 1 pint Buttermilk
– 6 oz strained Greek Yogurt
– Juice from 1 Lemon
– Salt & Pepper to taste
– 2-3 oz crumbled Feta Cheese (optional)

Directions

Peel cucumbers. Slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 30 minutes (this helps remove some of their water). Coarsely chop. In a food processor or blender, combine cucumber, mint, parsley, scallions, buttermilk and yogurt. Blend until smooth, season with salt and pepper (I used a food processor, so there was still some texture to the soup, but you can always strain through a sieve if you’d like). Chill in the fridge until… chilled. Serve garnished with about an ounce of feta crumbled on top.

I just returned from Chicago on Monday (pictures to come) and am entering the final month of the busy event season. I have 6 more events that I’m planning/managing before the end of June (3 Bat Mitzvah celebrations, 3 weddings!), so the long weekend was a nice refresh before a lot of intense focus.

I’ve said this before, but the adventures I take are almost necessary in inspiring me when I feel like I’m in a cooking slump. New York is an incredible city for food, but sometimes it takes being out of your routine to realize that there are still worlds of ingredients to experiment with. Thank you to everyone who gave me advice on where to eat in Chicago! I didn’t make it to all of them, but I had some incredible food during my trip. The best meal I had came from a restaurant I went to a few years back during my first trip there. Anyone else as in love with Lula Cafe as I am? We had a six course vegetarian tasting menu that was amazing… creative, beautiful and delicious! We managed to snag seats at the chef’s counter, so we got a nice view into the kitchen where all the magic happens. If you haven’t been there, I can’t recommend it enough!


May 1, 2013

per serving

Ingredients

– 1 piece sliced Rustic Bread
– 3-4 Tbsp Ricotta Cheese (if you’re feeling adventurous, make your own!)
– 4-5 pieces Sliced Pineapple
– 1/2 Red Pepper, seeds removed, chopped small
– 2 Tbsp Green Onion, chopped
– 1-2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to broil. Cut bread in half on a diagonal and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle bread with olive oil on both sides, sprinkle with salt. Broil in the oven until bread becomes crispy, a few minutes (flip on either side). Remove from oven. On a stovetop grill, grill the pineapple on each flat side until there are grill marks. Remove from heat and allow to cool until they’re cool enough to handle. Chop into small pieces. In a bowl, combine pineapple, red pepper and green onion. Sprinkle with salt and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Spread ricotta on each slice of bread. Spoon the desired amount of salsa on each piece and salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


April 6, 2013

Last weekend I threw a dinner party at my apartment for six of my lovely friends. Work has become increasingly busy as we head into wedding & events season (I’ll be helping seven awesome couples get married and four teens get bar/bat mitzvahed over the next three months), so I wanted to get people together for one last hurrah until I have more free time again in July. I made a giant feast of Mediterranean & Middle Eastern inspired meze.

On my search for ingredients, I visited Kalustyan’s in Flatiron. The store is incredible and full of any sort of specialty item you could imagine and I’m in love.

This cous cous dish is a nice balance of savory and sweet and can be tossed together as a nice side, or served layered like I did.

Ingredients

– 2 cups cooked Moroccan Cous Cous (follow instructions on the box or bag. Use olive oil instead of butter if vegan)
– 1 large Red Pepper
– 1/2 cup Dried Apricot
– 1/8 cup Moroccan Olives
– 1/8 cup Pine Nuts
– Cilantro (optional)
– 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt to taste

Directions

Prepare cous cous as you’re prepping the other ingredients (should take about 10 minutes max. Preheat oven to 350. Toast pine nuts on a baking pan until they start to brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Remove top and seeds from the red pepper and cut into large pieces. Toss with olive oil and season with salt. Grill on a stovetop grill until soft and starting to blacken, grilling both sides of the pepper. Remove from heat, chop into small pieces and put into a small bowl. Chop olives (removing pits) and toss with the red pepper. Chop up dried apricots into small pieces. If using cilantro, chop into small pieces. In a bowl toss cous cous with apricots, pine nuts and cilantro. Season with salt. Spoon cous cous onto plate or into a bowl and top with red pepper and olives. You can toss everything together if you’d prefer. Serve warm.


March 5, 2013

(via NYT’s Recipe)

As some of you may know, my day/night/weekend job is as an event planner for a catering company here in Brooklyn. Part of what I do is discussing menu ideas with couples/clients and discussing how to bring their backgrounds, family recipes and inspiration from their favorite restaurants into their menu. Recently a couple had mentioned how much they love Blue Hill Farm’s “tomato burger,” so I had our chefs do a take on it for their tasting. I got to sample it myself and was so obsessed with the balance of sweetness from the “bun,” the savory tomato and the creamy goat cheese, I made a mental note to try it at home. As someone who loves savory and sweet breakfast foods together (“don’t judge me!” I exclaimed as I dumped syrup all over my eggs and potatoes the other morning), I thought this would be perfect with a delicious sunny side up egg on top.

Serves 4

For the “bread”

– 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp Almond Flour
– 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
– 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
– 2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (honestly, I would recommend using less than their recommendation – it turned out a lot heavier and greasier than I would have liked. Might reduce as much as half next time.)
– 1/2 tsp Salt
– 4 large Egg Whites, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 325. Coat a 9×9 baking pan with cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Pour in egg whites and whisk with dry ingredients until combined. Continue to whisk and slowly add olive oil in a stream. Pour into baking pan and bake on middle rack for 20-25 minutes or until golden yellow. Remove from oven and allow to cool.Tomato Filling: 2 pounds ripe Tomatoes1 cup Sundried Tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped1/4 Tbsp Shallots, finely chopped1/2 Balsamic VinegarCut a shallow x in the bottom of the tomatoes. Blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and run under cold water. Skins should easily slip off. Remove seeds and chop into a small dice. In a bowl, toss together diced tomato, sundried tomato, shallots, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Goat Cheese Filling

– 2/3 Goat Cheese, room temperature
– 6 Tbsp Mascarpone Cheese, room temperature 
– 2 Tbsp chopped Chivespinch of salt

Stir together all of the ingredients and set aside.

Egg

– 4 Eggs
– 2 Tbsp Salt & Pepper to taste
– Fresh basil

Melt butter in a pan. Crack eggs into pan and cook on low/medium heat until whites begin to firm up. Cover with lid until whites are about done. Season with salt and pepper.To assemble:Cut a four rounds out of the “bread.” Layer each with some of the goat cheese, a generous amount of the tomato filling, fresh basil and top with an egg. Serve hot.


February 23, 2013

It’s a slow rainy Saturday in New York.

Ingredients

– 1 egg
– 1/2 cup dry Quinoa
– 1 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
– 1 cup chopped Kale, large stems removed
– 1/4 cup Baby Heirloom Tomatoes
– 2 generous handfuls of fresh Basil
– 1/2 cup chopped Scallions
– 1 clove Garlic
– 4-5 Tbsp Olive Oil
– 1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
– 1 Tbsp Butter
– Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

In a saucepan 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup Vegetable Broth to a boil. Add quinoa and season with a bit of salt. Cover and bring down to a simmer until the liquid cooks off (about 15 minutes). In a saute pan, saute minced garlic in a bit of olive oil until soft. Add the cooked quinoa and toss. Cook on low heat, continuing to cook off any remaining liquid in the quinoa. In a blender, liquify basil, scallion and a 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. With the blender going, slowly stream in the white wine vinegar, which will thicken the puree. In a saute pan, saute the kale and tomato in a bit of olive oil until soft. Add to quinoa and toss. Season with salt & pepper. In a saute pan, melt butter over low-medium heat. Crack the egg into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid until the whites have firmed up. Serve quinoa in a bowl, top with the sunny side up egg and spoon some of the basil & scallion puree over the top. Serve immediately.


February 21, 2013

When I’m feeling a little uninspired in the kitchen, sometimes all it takes is a visit to an amazing restaurant or two to get the wheels turning again. Usually it’s because I’ve had a new combination of ingredients or take that I hadn’t considered, but sometimes I get inspired to recreate a dish that isn’t as good as I think it could have been. Case in point the cauliflower soup I had a place in Bushwick recently. While it wasn’t terrible, I thought it was missing the rich silkiness (ew, that word) that cauliflower can create. I decided I should try my hand at it at home to see if I could make a version that captured the comforting and warm feeling that soup should give in the deep hellish depths of winter (also known as February in New York.)

Ingredients

– 1 head Cauliflower, trimmed of stalk and leaves
– 1 cup chopped Onion
– 2 cloves Garlic, minced
– 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 6 cups Vegetable Stock
– 1 cup Half & Half
– Salt and Pepper to taste
– Truffle Oil (optional)

Directions

In a large pot, saute chopped onion and garlic on low/medium heat until translucent. Chop cauliflower into small, manageable pieces. Add to pot and cover with vegetable stock. Turn heat to medium/high until cauliflower is very soft, about 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, blend the stock and vegetables until smooth. Add half & half and continue to blend. Salt and pepper to taste. If soup is too thick, you can add a little water or more half and half. If it’s too thin, continue to cook until to desired thickness. Serve hot in a bowl with a drizzle of truffle oil and a parmesan crispFor the Parmesan Crisp1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese(for those asking, BelGioioso makes a rennet-free parm)Preheat oven broil. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread cheese in an even layer so that you can’t see the area of paper, about 4-5 inches around. Broil in oven until cheese melts and begins to crisp and brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Break into pieces and serve with soup.

Thanks to Mardi of Sprout & Pea for coming over for dinner and to share an amazing bottle of First Fruit from Shinn Vineyard on Long Island that I’ve been holding onto for far too long. It’s time I made a trip back there…


February 17, 2013

Ingredients

– 1 large Cauliflower head, trimmed
– 1/4 pound Feta Cheese
– 2 ounces Cream Cheese
– 2 Tbsp Heavy Cream
– 1 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
– 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Scallions for garnish
– Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Place flat side of cauliflower on cutting board and cut 3/4 inch “steaks” from the middle of the head. In a pan, heat olive oil and sear each side of the cauliflower, flipping to brown each side. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and roast on a cookie sheet on the lowest rack of the oven until tender. In a food processor, blend feta, cream cheese, cream cheese and lemon juice until smooth. Spoon whipped feta onto plate with a cauliflower steak. Garnish with scallion. 
 
Last week’s Valentine’s Market was a great time, even with the blizzard. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our table and sampled or bought a jar of nutella. Markets of New York did a nice post about our wares. Check it out!


January 3, 2013

I’ve been laying out my goals for 2013 and I must say I’m pretty excited about what’s to come for The Bored Veg in the next several months. Some things are already in motion, some I’m still working on (hey, it’s only January 2nd). One area I want to focus on is incorporating more baking into the blog. It sounds silly, but baking has always intimidated me. It’s so exact and… scientific. So much of what makes a delicious baked good is ingredients reacting with one another, temperature etc. Not to mention the fact that my convection oven is a giant POS and it’s difficult to evenly cook anything. Anyway, my point is that 2013 will be the year of baking. Or slightly more baking. This galette was the perfect way to get things started.

Dough  (recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients

– 1 1/4 cups Flour, chilled in freezer for 30 minutes
– 1/4 tsp Salt
– 8 Tbsp (1 stick) cold Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces and chilled again
– 1/4 cup Sour Cream
– 2 tsp fresh Lemon Juice
– 1/4 cup Ice Water

Crust Glaze

– 1 Egg Yolk beaten with 1 tsp Water

Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl. Add chopped butter and use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until the butter pieces are no bigger than a pea. The flour should be a meal consistency. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, ice water and sour cream. Add to the flour & butter mixture and mix together with your hands until the dough forms into large lumps. Pat the dough into a ball, being careful not to overwork. Wrap in plastic and chill for an hour in the refrigerator.

Filling

– 1 small Butternut Squash, peeled and slice thin (about 1/4 inch thick)
– 1 small Red Onion, sliced thin
– 1/4 cup Gorgonzola, crumbled
– 15-20 fresh Sage Leaves
– 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Canola Oil for frying
– Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Toss butternut squash with olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven, turning occasionally until the squash is cooked through. In a saute pan, heat 1 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil. Add onion and toss in olive oil. Saute over low/medium heat for a few minutes and then sprinkle onions with salt. Continue to cook over low/medium heat until onions caramelize (up to 30 mins). In a saute pan, add a couple of inches of canola oil and heat over medium heat for about a minute. Test a sage leave – it should crisp up in about five seconds. Be careful not to brown the leaves. Fry all sage leaves and drain.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from the fridge and roll out into a 12-inch circle on a well floured work surface. Transfer onto an ungreased baking sheet. Leaving about 2 inches around the edge, layer the butternut squash in a spiral towards the center. Spread the caramelized onions over the top. Fold over the edges of the dough, pinching together where needed so that it partially covers the filling. Brush the crust with the egg yolk mixture. Bake in the oven about 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is a golden brown. Turn off the oven, pull the galette partially out and sprinkle with cheese and sage. Return to the oven until the cheese melts slightly. Remove from oven and transfer to serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.  


December 23, 2012
Mashed

It’s peak sweet potato season… and whiskey is in season all year round. 

Ingredients

– 1 large Sweet Potato, peeled and cubed
– 1 Apple, peeled and cubed
– 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
– 4 Tbsp Butter
– 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
– 3 Tbsp Whiskey
– Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Directions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and boil until soft. In a pan, melt 2 Tbsp of butter. Add add apples and saute until slightly soft, but not mushy. Drain sweet potatoes and put back into pot. Add sauteed apples and cream and mash until potatoes are smooth. The apples will retain their shape. Salt to taste and keep warm as you make the sauce. In a saute pan, melt remaining butter. Add brown sugar and whiskey and whisk together over low/medium heat until it reduces a bit. Serve sweet potatoes hot topped with mascarpone and drizzled with whiskey sauce.